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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Does Theology Matter? Most Christians Today Say No...

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Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 533
America's Heartand


The thread began with the question , " Does Theology Matter?".

Perhaps the better question is EXACTLY WHICH PIECES of theology matter enough to disagree over. That is really the crux of the biscuit.

I believe there would be near universal agreement, although not quiet, here to the following theology-

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.
(The word catholic simply means universal)

I have found that to move beyond this most basic theology will almost inevitably lead to disagreement. The question then becomes .... is it necessary to move beyond these basic statements of belief for most Christians?

If they can agree and walk in love and peace based on these then is it beneficial to add other theology that almost always ends up in disputes, disagreements, and arguments? Those arguments are not normally because the theology is difficult but rather because in a disagreement one of the parties WILL BE WRONG! Few are the individuals that can see they are in error and change their mind. Almost all of humanity will find a way to defend their position.. especially in matters of theology. The question becomes what theology is important enough to damage relationships and peoples feelings over. In my opinion... very little theology is. Much of anything beyond the apostles creed will only cause disagreements from people looking to defend their beliefs on the topic. Very few ever change their views unless they find those things themselves as they believe they are led by The Holy Spirit.

The vast majority of argumentative theologians would seem to be far better served in actually spending time fasting, praying, reading scripture, and sharing their faith with those around them. Unless an individual is a very spiritually minded individual we find the words of Paul far to often coming true..."knowledge puffs up". Until we can consistently DO the things we already know to do, but are left undone , why in God's name should we be looking to learn more?!?!?

 2012/3/14 16:59Profile

 Re: Does Theology Matter? Most Christians Today Say No...

Yes, you are right Steve, too long. However, I will comment on the simplest part, the title of the thread.

Theology does matter yes. But..(you gotta love that word 'but', eh).

I think what turns 'some' people off about theology is the very word itself.

It's like the word Religious. Well, less than a hundred years ago that word denoted piety and devotion, but today we look at that word to mean Pharisee or stiffnecked.

The song, "give me that old time religion" is what people wanted but when we sing it today, we omit the word religion for something else because of what I said above.

The word 'theology' says the same thing. There needs to be a new word established that doesn't denote dullness,, death, and religious workings. Maybe the word, 'LIFE' is a good substitute we could say, "We do need LIFE", instead of "We need theology".

Words do get into our mind and a word can cause us to move forward or take a step backward, it can be good and it can be bad. We hear the word, 'tradition' and we automatically think it's bad because of what Jesus said of the Pharisees, "you make void the word of God because of your traditions". But traditions can be both good and bad as long as they are not attached to the word of God to compromise it's meaning which the Pharisees were doing.

There are other examples, like the colourful word 'gay'. You can't use that anymore without the mind thinking of something else or heads are turned. But it's the only short word to denote an array of beautiful colours without having to consult a half a dozen other words.

In our world, that is how we view words and we avoid the subject entirely based upon those words. 'Theology' is a bad word in these parts, so I have to tread carefully when I want to share something with my friends who consider those types of words as "religious".

 2012/3/14 17:29


Krispy, you wrote ......

"But isnt it your doctrine that makes you say that about RC Sproul? The train goes in both directions."

A cessasionist denies the fact that God still works in the supernatural, that is not a dcotrine, that is a fundamental denial of the Bible from the first page to the last. The cessasionist says " ah yes, the Bible does say that, but it ceased." He can give no evidence of it but he can deny evidence that it has not ceased. I, for one, am not a charismatic Krispy.

2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
2Ti 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Brother hezwelling also posted appropriate Scriptures to speak to this subject. Our supernatural God is alive and well and working and speaking to His people. He, by the Holy Spirit is still leading and guiding and illuminating the Scriptures to his Children, not through isms, but by and through the power of God. If any, even an angel of light should come and teach others that God no longer moves in the supernatural, that one can be easily enough ignored. Scriptures themselves admonish such a one.........bro Frank

 2012/3/14 17:38


A cessasionist denies the fact that God still works in the supernatural, that is not a dcotrine, that is a fundamental denial of the Bible from the first page to the last. The cessasionist says " ah yes, the Bible does say that, but it ceased." He can give no evidence of it but he can deny evidence that it has not ceased. I, for one, am not a charismatic Krispy.

That is an over generalization of what cessionist think, and it's also not true. Especially the first part.

I love ya brother... and we are all guilty of overgeneralizing opposing positions. Myself included.


 2012/3/14 18:09


I think what turns 'some' people off about theology is the very word itself.

Neil asked if just reading his Bible would be considered by me to be "studying theology".

Uhh... yea... thats studying theology in it's purest form.

We all agree that one of the problems in the church today is that the Bible has been abandoned. Well, yea... reading and studying your Bible IS studying theology.

People always assume it means going to seminary. It doesnt.


 2012/3/14 18:12


Hey Krispy,

Q “ How do you feel about current supernatural works of the Holy Spirit?

A I feel good about the Holy Spirit miraculously doing His work of bringing men to salvation¦ But concerning miracles as defined theologically I am a cessationist¦. Miracles in Scripture were used by God to verify and authenticate agents of revelation and to verify the divinity of Christ¦ God is not doing such miracles today.

This was RCs answer at a recent conference. Now the same position would also argue that the sign gifts of the Spirit have ceased which would obviously include tongues. So, no sign gifts and no miracales but apparently there is still salvation. Where is the over generalisation Krispy?

He is the guy that you used to make your point right? What he states above is the classic cessasionist position. My point is brother, if their studies have brought them to that conclusion, then something is seriously wrong with what they would call hermaneutics ( tha art and science of studying the Bible) I would submit to you that there is no art nor science in studying the Bible other than what Neil said, reading it and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you. Now I would highly commend that and I am sure you would agree with me? .......... bro Frank

 2012/3/14 19:34

Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


hi, the problem with theology is that it is an eternal subject of such grand proportions. some feel like they have a great knowlege of it and opine on this and other forums with great authority.what i am saying is that theology is not the problem ;it is those that are dumb and proud enough to think theirs is the true interpretation.after 50 years of study and ministry i know nothing except Jesus ,and Him can a finite man examine an omnipotent God and think they have the whole truth on Him.the latest are the name theologians. people who got saved by calling on Jesus and weeping before a holy God now say that God has to be called jhwh and the name of Jesus must be this or that or They will not answer your prayers.if i called 911 and asked for the big red square truck for medical help;they would probably send an ambulance.jimp

 2012/3/14 19:47Profile


Frank... here's the deal, I posted an article that was about the importance of theology. Quite frankly, what was written was true. It really didnt matter who wrote it. But rather than discuss the article somehow we have veered off the road onto tongues and RC Sproul's position as a cessationist.

I know threads usually veer off course, thats to be expected around here, but I maintain that if I had not mentioned that Sproul wrote this we would not even be having this discussion... at least not about tongues, etc.

Thats part of the problem on this thread lately. Tongues has become the litmus test for what is true or not. It should not be that way.

The Word of God is the authority, not whether someone speaks or even believes in tongues.


 2012/3/14 22:45


Steve, you never saw fit to testify what Scriptures i posted say to your heart. It's okay if you'd rather not....ABSOLUTELY okay.

what God the Holy Ghost says to me via Scripture, or via the Small Still Voice i usually keep to myself, thats why i didnt want to be concerning myself over what RC Sproul or any other "leader", or "teacher", or "illuminary" says.

thats why i asked you what those two Passages of Scripture meant to you, in your words.

i find these straw dogs detestable, i find 'culture wars" detestable, i find overusage of the words, "liberal", "conservative", "fundamentalism" detestable. i even find the word "denomination" so detestable, that it points to the limp impotent backslidden nature of what now passes for "Christianity".

i dont know whats more limp and backslidden, constantine's roman institution or the red white and blue north american "evangelical churches", if it wasnt for the hidden pressed out persecuted house Churches of the world, God's "seven thousand", this world would be lost.

anyway, you showed me no honor by ignoring my entreaty

 2012/3/14 23:50


Hey Krispy, I thought it would be helpful to quote your opening paragraph so that we can see why you posted the article and where you are coming from..........

" know... posting this article means it wont get read. Too long, and most dont care about the topic. But more and more there are people coming to this forum who mock believers who take seriously the study if Theology and sound doctrine."

That was how you started it, you made a charge. I asked you for examples of mocking. I read some of the thread that you pointed me to. Same old topic that I have seen here many many times before, and lets put it in theologicala terms since I am a theology major from a Calvinist school( big surprise eh brother:) As in so many times in the past it comes down to Biblicentricty and Christocentricity.

The argument has always been that there are textulists, people who busy themselves in the art and science of studying the Bible and become experts in the text. They know nothing of the person of Jesus, emotions are mocked and scorned and anything supernatural, apart from salvation, is rejected. And so it is, one can be an expert on the Bible and not know Jesus, hence the Pharisees and the scribes.

Then there is Christocentric people, people who have a passion for the person of Jesus, who have been completely transformed by the power of the Lord and have become new creatures in Christ. When they say that the Word itself cannot save them, only the person of Jesus can save, they are charged with rejecting the Bible, they themselves are mocked and then called upon to repent by the textulists. Of course the irony is that Christocentric people do ahve a passion for the word of God, they soak it in. Consider what Tozer says on the subject in Gods pursuit of man. Its most of chapter 2 but I think you need to read it brother and perhaps you may see some pride in your own position?

Chapter 2.
In Word, or in Power

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost.
(1 Thessalonians 1:5)

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (Revelation 3:1)

To one who is a student merely, these verses might be interesting, but to a serious man intent upon gaining eternal life they might well prove more than a little disturbing. For they evidently teach that the message of the gospel may be received in either of two ways: in word only, without power, or in word with power. Yet it is the same message whether it comes in word or in power. And these verses teach also that when the message is received in power it effects a change so radical as to be called a new creation. But the message may be received without power, and apparently some have so received it, for they have a name to live and are dead. All this is present in these texts.

By observing the ways of men at play I have been able to understand better the ways of men at prayer. Most men, indeed, play at religion as they play at games, religion itself being of all games the one most universally played. The various sports have their rules and their balls and their players; the game excites interest, gives pleasure and consumes time, and when it is over the competing teams laugh and leave the field. It is common to see a player leave one team and join another and a few days later play against his old mates with as great zest as he formerly displayed when playing for them. The whole thing is arbitrary. It consists in solving artificial problems and attacking difficulties which have been deliberately created for the sake of the game. It has no moral roots and is not supposed to have. No one is the better for his self-imposed toil. It is all but a pleasant activity which changes nothing and settles nothing at last.

If the condition we describe were confined to the ballpark we might pass it over without further thought, but what are we to say when this same spirit enters the sanctuary and decides the attitude of men toward God and religion? For the Church has also its fields and its rules and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character from many who take in religion no interest at all.

As an athlete uses a ball, so do many of us use words: words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace; we build reputations upon our word skill and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game. But the emptiness of it is apparent from the fact that after the pleasant religious game no one is basically any different from what he had been before. The bases of life remain unchanged, the same old principles govern, the same old Adam rules.

I have not said that religion without power makes no changes in a man's life, only that it makes no fundamental difference. Water may change from liquid to vapor and still be fundamentally the same. So powerless religion may put a man through many surface changes and leave him exactly what he was before. Right there is where the snare lies. The changes are in form only, they are not in kind. Behind the activities of the non-religious man and the man who has received the gospel without power lie the very same motives.

An unblessed ego lies at the bottom of both lives, the difference being that the religious man has learned better to disguise his vice. His sins are refined and less offensive than before he took up religion, but the man himself is not a better man in the sight of God. He may indeed be a worse one, for always God hates artificiality and pretense. Selfishness still throbs like an engine at the center of the man's life. True, he may learn to "redirect" his selfish impulses, but his woe is that self still lives unrebuked and even unsuspected within his deep heart. He is a victim of religion without power.
The man who has received the Word without power has trimmed his hedge, but it is a thorn hedge still and can never bring forth the fruits of the new life. Yet such a man may be a leader in the Church and his influence and his vote may go far to determine what religion shall be in his generation.
—God's Pursuit of Man

 2012/3/14 23:57

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